Jersey from Iconic Kobe Bryant Photo Set to Sell for Millions at Auction
The jersey seen in one of the most iconic photos ever taken of the late Kobe Bryant, which was shot by Los Angeles Times photographer Wally Skalij, is currently at auction where it could sell for as much as $7 million.
As reported by Digital Camera World, Skalij’s photo (which he captured on a Nikon D3 and a 105mm f/2.8 R G lens) has been featured on a plethora of both official an unofficial NBA merchandise and is seen as one of the most recognizable photos of Bryant from his career.
The photo shows Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people in 2020, celebrating after scoring a pivotal basket during a playoff game against the Denver Nuggets in 2008.
“On April 23, 2008 in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Denver Nuggets, with 5 minutes and 22 seconds on the clock, Kobe sank a 3 pointer securing the Lakers a 14 point lead, their largest point differential thus far. The images taken following the shot, of Kobe screaming and pumping his chest in elation, have become perhaps the most iconic images of Kobe ever taken,” Sotheby’s explains.
The photo has become even more iconic because of the number of times it has been reproduced — a selection of which can be seen on Sotheby’s listing for the jersey — including on a mural dedicated to the basketball star near the Staples Center in Los Angeles, painted by artist Jonas Never.
The actual jersey that Bryant is wearing in that photo is currently being auctioned and according to Sotheby’s, within an hour of its listing it had already received a bid for $4.5 million, quickly overtaking the previous record for a Bryant jersey which sold for $3.7 million in 2001.
The jersey will come with a selection of photographs, art, and books and is on public display at Sotheby’s New York location through the week. Bidding is set to close on February 9. At the time of publication, the high bid remains at $4.5 million, although Sotheby’s expects that the final days of the auction could see bids for the jersey inflate to at least $7 million.
Image credits: Sotheby’s